In the latest example of what’s become a disturbing trend, members of the Arkansas National Guard this week are receiving notices alerting them to the fact that their names and Social Security numbers were compromised after an external hard drive was somehow misplaced.
Some 35,000-plus guardsmen serving since 1991 will be checking their credit reports in the next few weeks after the unencrypted device couldn’t be found following an exhaustive search last month, National Guard officials said.
eSecurity Planet takes a closer look at this latest security breach at a U.S. military base and what officials are doing to safeguard sensitive data in the future.
At first officials hoped the unsecured drive would only affect a portion of its current members but those hopes were dashed when investigating guardsmen realized a single file containing personnel information on all soldiers who have served in the unit over the past 19 years.
An unencrypted backup storage drive holding the names, Social Security numbers and other unspecified personal information of more than 35,000 Arkansas National Guardsmen was discovered missing last month, the latest incident in a string of military security gaffes.
Officials at the Camp Joseph T. Robinson base in North Little Rock, Ark. said the wayward drive was last used in November as a backup drive to archive personnel information dating back to 1991.